Noble Energy to ship Alen field gas to Bioko Island plants. Start-up in early 2020s (E. Guinea)

U.S. oil and gas company Noble Energy is pressing ahead with a project to link its Alen field offshore Equatorial Guinea to existing gas processing infrastructure on Bioko Island.

The company on Thursday said it executed, along with the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and necessary third-parties, a Heads of Agreement establishing the framework for the development of natural gas from the Alen field.

Alen natural gas is planned to be processed through Alba Plant LLC’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas plant and EGLNG’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility, both located in Punta Europa. Marathon Oil, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is the majority shareholder in both Alba Plant LLC and EG LNG.

The structure contemplated would result in the Alen field partners and the EG LNG owners accessing global LNG markets. Sanction of the project is contingent upon final commercial agreements being executed.

Gary W. Willingham, Noble Energy’s Executive Vice President, Operations, commented, “This is a significant milestone as it marks the first step to monetizing a substantial amount of gas from the Alen field through existing infrastructure on Bioko Island. This project will transform the Alen platform into an offshore hub for potential development of additional gas fields nearby. First production is anticipated early in the next decade.”

Existing production and processing facilities in place at the Alen platform and in Punta Europa require only minor modifications to produce and process the Alen gas, Noble said.

The agreement contemplates construction of a 65-kilometer pipeline to transport gas from the Alen platform to the facilities in Punta Europa. The pipeline is being designed with the capacity to handle production from multiple fields.

The Alen field, located in Blocks O and I, offshore Equatorial Guinea, has been producing natural gas and condensate since field startup in 2013. Natural gas produced has been reinjected into the reservoir to enhance liquids recovery.

Noble Energy estimates an incremental 600 billion cubic feet of gross natural gas equivalent resources from the Alen field are recoverable as a result of the project. Noble Energy operates the Alen field with a 45 percent working interest and holds a 28 percent non-operated working interest in the Alba Plant.